A Habitude is a combination of habits and attitudes that reveal the ingrained thoughts, feelings and behaviours that influence our decisions and actions.
We have used money habitudes over a number of years to understand our clients’ habits and feelings towards money. This often raises many questions and reveals topics that many couples have never spoken about together and highlights key traits in their relationship with money and, probably more importantly, how differing habitudes may interplay.
They say that money habits and your attitude towards money is often learnt from your parents, or at least influenced by your parents as you grow up. We often hear clients telling us stories about their childhood and how they didn’t want to be anything like their parents, so have ended up on the other side of the spectrum in their own habits! Or how subtle habits have been passed down the generations and are somehow engrained in our DNA.
Gretchen asked me in preparation for writing this blog, to look at my own money habitudes and out of curiosity I have also asked my parents and brother if they would complete the quiz too, to see if money habits have been passed down from my parents .
In order to do this, we used an online quiz, which offered us a list of statements that we had to assess whether we agreed or disagreed with. Each card represents six core habitudes that you can fall into, once you have finished it will send a report highlighting which of the six best represents you.
Money habitudes believe that most people fall into six categories as following:
Security – when you have money, your first thought is how you can protect it. You will be intentional about saving money because it is your priority – whether it is to protect the money, save for the future or accumulate as much as possible. Money helps you feel safe, secure and in control.
Planning – when you have money, your first thought is about how it could be used to reach your goals or accomplish something you’ve been planning. Money helps you achieve your goals.
Giving – Typically, when you have money, your first thought is about how that money could be used to help others. Money helps you feel good by giving to others.
Spontaneous – You can quickly take advantage of a good deal for something you’ve been planning to get. Money encourages you to enjoy the moment.
Carefree – You can let things go and be flexible at times. Money isn’t a priority. You just let life happen.
Status – money helps you present a positive image.
When looking at the results of my own, my brothers and my parents’ habitudes quiz it raised a multitude of questions for me to ask them and some intriguing answers. On the face of it, it looked as though my mum and dad were in stark contrast of each other, with myself and my brother being an almost perfect blend of the two.
However, following some deeper conversations around this it transpired they aren’t complete polar opposites but have, over the years, adopted specific roles in their relationship when it comes to money.
My dad shows strong Planner and Security habitudes, with all of his cards falling into these two categories. Whereas my mum’s predominant habitude is as a Giver, but also having an understanding of Planning and what this can do for her lifestyle in the future. The balance that they have created complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses in money habitudes, dad plans for the future and their security and mum gives as much as she can to others, with a sound knowledge of what they can afford. This is a dynamic that many couples fall into after a period of time together.
We know that life and circumstances can have a great effect on someone’s attitude towards money. My brother is currently saving for a property and this is a likely cause of why his most dominant habitude is currently Planning. However, when discussing how we have been influenced from our childhood, it is clear that this isn’t just a circumstantial result. He and I are both strong Planners, but also have a dominant Giving habitude that has obviously been influenced by both of our parents.
There is no ideal habitude result, but it is important to recognise that being solely in one category can have negative traits associated with it. Understanding who you are and how others may perceive you is important to anyone’s personal development.
We all want a fuller and well-rounded life, and much of that comes with planning for the future as well as enjoying the now and so using tools like this to help us understand where we are and where we can grow is important.
Using these cards allowed me to start conversations around money that I have never had with my family before. I understood their childhood better and even my own, before my memory could carry me.
Which category do you think you would fall in? can you trace this back to your family?
If you are interested in taking your own habitudes assessment you can do that HERE this costs approximately £10 and we’d be happy to talk about your results at your next meeting, or if you’d like to wait and play our card game version at the office – we’d be delighted to have a deeper conversation around your Habitudes!